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Re: Tekram DC-390: RESTORE POINTER...

Eddie Maddox <eddie@mngovsci.com> writes:

> On Wed, 12 Jan 2000, Eddie Maddox wrote:
> > I've seen the previous three messages this month on the Tekram DC-390.
> > I'm not sure I've seen the same problem, but I could not get it to boot
> > from 2.2.4 or 2.1.12 boot floppies. Same error for each:
> > 
> > DC390: RESTORE POINTER message received ... reject
> > scsi: aborting command due to timeout: pid 24,... (status 4)

Please test both the vanilla and the "compact" 2.2.5 boot-floppies,
which you can download the bits you need from
<URL:http://lully.debian.org/~aph/bf-2.2.5-i386/>.  See the top-level

If it doesn't work, please file a bug against 'kernel-image-2.2.14'.
Include all the same info you sent here, and anything to help diagnose
the problem.

> I found four messages in the Dec. 99 Debian-boot archive. They mention
> "tmscsim" and "AM53C974". I know the AM53C974 is the correct driver. But
> the errors messages I see mention:
> "read linux/drivers/scsi/README.tmscsim",
> which I don't have a clue where to find, anyway.

I'll attach that below for ya.

> So, will Debian 2.2, and the 2.2.5++ boot floppies, support this i486 with
> EISA MB? I will be happy to test and report.

Follow the same directions above.

It's not possible for us to support every hardware configuration.  If
you have a working box, you can take compile a kernel for your
hardware with all the right options and replace the kernel on the
rescue disk of boot-flopppies -- see the install manual for details,
in the "technical notes" section near the end.

.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@onShore.com.....<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>
The tmscsim driver

1. Purpose and history
2. Installation
3. Features
4. Configuration via /proc/scsi/tmscsim/?
5. Configuration via boot/module params
6. Potential improvements
7. Bug reports, debugging and updates
8. Acknowledgements

1. Purpose and history
The tmscsim driver supports PCI SCSI Host Adapters based on the AM53C974
chip. AM53C974 based SCSI adapters include: 
 Tekram DC390, DC390T
 Dawicontrol 2974
 QLogic Fast! PCI Basic
 some on-board adapters
(This is most probably not a complete list)

It has originally written by C.L. Huang from the Tekram corp. to support the
Tekram DC390(T) adapter. This is where the name comes from: tm = Tekram
scsi = SCSI driver, m = AMD (?) as opposed to w for the DC390W/U/F
(NCR53c8X5, X=2/7) driver. Yes, there was also a driver for the latter,
tmscsimw, which supported DC390W/U/F adapters. It's not maintained any more,
as the ncr53c8xx is perfectly supporting these adpaters since some time.

The driver first appeared in April 1996, exclusively supported the DC390 
and has been enhanced since then in various steps. In May 1998 support for 
general AM53C974 based adapters and some possibilities to configure it were
added. The non-DC390 support works by assuming some values for the data
normally taken from the DC390 EEPROM. See below (chapter 5) for details.

When using the DC390, the configuration is still be done using the DC390
BIOS setup. The DC390 EEPROM is read and used by the driver, any boot or
module parameters (chapter 5) are ignored! However, you can change settings
dynamically, as described in chapter 4. 

For a more detailed description of the driver's history, see the first lines
of tmscsim.c.
The numbering scheme isn't consistent. The first versions went from 1.00 to
1.12, then 1.20a to 1.20t. Finally I decided to use the ncr53c8xx scheme. So
the next revisions will be 2.0a to 2.0X (stable), 2.1a to 2.1X (experimental),
2.2a to 2.2X (stable, again) etc. (X = anything between a and z.) If I send
fixes to people for testing, I create intermediate versions with a digit 
appended, e.g. 2.0c3.

2. Installation
If you got any recent kernel with this driver and document included in
linux/drivers/scsi, you basically have to do nothing special to use this
driver. Of course you have to choose to compile SCSI support and DC390(T)
support into your kernel or as module when configuring your kernel for

 If you got an old kernel (pre 2.1.127, pre 2.0.37p1) with an old version of
 this driver: Get dc390-21125-20b.diff.gz or dc390-2036p21-20b1.diff.gz from
 my website and apply the patch. 

 If you want to do it manually, you should copy the files (dc390.h,
 tmscsim.h, tmscsim.c, scsiiom.c and README.tmscsim) from this directory to
 linux/drivers/scsi. You have to recompile your kernel/module of course.

 You should apply the three patches included in dc390-120-kernel.diff
 (Applying them: cd /usr/src; patch -p0 <~/dc390-120-kernel.diff)
 The patches are against 2.1.125, so you might have to manually resolve
 rejections when applying to another kernel version.

 The patches will update the kernel startup code to allow boot parameters to
 be passed to the driver, update the Documentation and finally offer you the
 possibility to omit the non-DC390 parts of the driver.
 (By selecting "Omit support for non DC390" you basically disable the
 emulation of a DC390 EEPROM for non DC390 adapters. This saves a few bytes
 of memory.)

If you got a very old kernel without the tmscsim driver (pre 2.0.31)
I recommend upgrading your kernel. However, if you don't want to, please
contact me to get the appropriate patches.

Upgrading a SCSI driver is always a delicate thing to do. The 2.0 driver has
proven stable on many systems, but it's still a good idea to take some
precautions. In an ideal world you would have a full backup of your disks.
The world isn't ideal and most people don't have full backups (me neither).
So take at least the following measures:
* make your kernel remount the FS read-only on detecting an error:
  tune2fs -e remount-ro /dev/sd??
* have copies of your SCSI disk's partition tables on some safe location:
  dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/floppy/sda bs=512 count=1
* make sure you are able to boot Linux (e.g. from floppy disk using InitRD)
  if your SCSI disk gets corrupted. You can use 

One more warning: I used to overclock my PCI bus to 41.67 MHz. My Tekram
DC390F (Sym53c875) accepted this as well as my Millenium. But the Am53C974
produced errors and started to corrupt my disks. So don't do that! A 37.50
MHz PCI bus works for me, though, but I don't recommend using higher clocks
than the 33.33 MHz being in the PCI spec.

If you want to share the IRQ with another device and the driver refuses to
do, you might succeed with changing the DC390_IRQ type in tmscsim.c to 

 * Tagged command queueing
 * Sync speed up to 10 MHz
 * Disconnection
 * Multiple LUNs

- General / Linux interface
 * Support for up to 4 AM53C974 adapters.
 * DC390 EEPROM usage or boot/module params
 * Information via cat /proc/scsi/tmscsim/?
 * Dynamically configurable by writing to /proc/scsi/tmscsim/?
 * Dynamic allocation of resources
 * SMP support: Locking on io_request lock (Linux 2.1/2.2) or adapter 
    specific locks (Linux 2.3)
 * Uniform source code for Linux-2.x.y
 * Support for dyn. addition/removal of devices via add/remove-single-device
   (Try: echo "scsi add-single-device H C I L" >/proc/scsi/scsi 
    H = Host, C = Channel, I = SCSI ID, L = SCSI LUN.) Use with care!
 * Try to use the partition table for the determination of the mapping

4. Configuration via /proc/scsi/tmscsim/?
First of all look at the output of /proc/scsi/tmscsim/? by typing
 cat /proc/scsi/tmscsim/?
The "?" should be replaced by the SCSI host number. (The shell might do this
for you.)
You will see some info regarding the adapter and, at the end, a listing of
the attached devices and their settings.

Here's an example:
garloff@kg1:/home/garloff > cat /proc/scsi/tmscsim/0
Tekram DC390/AM53C974 PCI SCSI Host Adapter, Driver Version 1.20s, 1998/08/20
SCSI Host Nr 0, AM53C974 Adapter Nr 0
IOPortBase 0x6200, IRQLevel 0x09
MaxID 7, MaxLUN 8, AdapterID 7, SelTimeout 250 ms
TagMaxNum 16, Status 0, ACBFlag 0, GlitchEater 24 ns
Statistics: Nr of Cmnds 39563, Cmnds not sent directly 0, Out of SRB conds 0
            Nr of lost arbitrations 17
Nr of attached devices: 4, Nr of DCBs: 4
Idx ID LUN Prty Sync DsCn SndS TagQ STOP NegoPeriod SyncSpeed SyncOffs
00  00  00  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No    100 ns    10.0 M      15
01  01  00  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No    100 ns    10.0 M      15
02  03  00  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  No   No    100 ns    10.0 M      15
03  05  00  Yes  No   Yes  Yes  No   No   (200 ns)

Note that the settings MaxID and MaxLUN are not zero- but one-based, which
means that a setting MaxLUN=4, will result in the support of LUNs 0..3. This
is somehow inconvenient, but the way the mid-level SCSI code expects it to be.

ACB and DCB are acronyms for Adapter Control Block and Device Control Block.
These are data structures of the driver containing information about the
adapter and the connected SCSI devices respectively.

Idx is the device index (just a consecutive number for the driver), ID and
LUN are the SCSI ID and LUN, Prty means Parity checking, Sync synchronous
negotiation, DsCn Disconnection, SndS Send Start command on startup (not
used by the driver) and TagQ Tagged Command Queueing. NegoPeriod and
SyncSpeed are somehow redundant, because they are reciprocal values 
(1 / 112 ns = 8.9 MHz). At least in theory. The driver is able to adjust the
NegoPeriod more accurate (4ns) than the SyncSpeed (1 / 25ns). I don't know
if certain devices will have problems with this discrepancy. Max. speed is
10 MHz corresp. to a min. NegoPeriod of 100 ns. 
(The driver allows slightly higher speeds if the devices (Ultra SCSI) accept
it, but that's out of adapter spec, on your own risk and unlikely to improve
performance. You're likely to crash your disks.) 
SyncOffs is the offset used for synchronous negotiations; max. is 15. 
The last values are only shown, if Sync is enabled. (NegoPeriod is still
displayed in brackets to show the values which will be used after enabling
The STOP parameter is for testing/debugging purposes only and should bet set
to No. Please don't fiddle with it, unless you want to get rid of the
contents of your disk.

If you want to change a setting, you can do that by writing to
/proc/scsi/tmscsim/?. Basically you have to imitate the output of driver.
(Don't use the brackets for NegoPeriod on Sync disabled devices.)
You don't have to care about capitalisation. The driver will accept space,
tab, comma, = and : as separators.

There are three kinds of changes: 

(1) Change driver settings: 
    You type the names of the parameters and the params following it.
     echo "MaxLUN=8 seltimeout 200" >/proc/scsi/tmscsim/0

    Note that you can only change MaxID, MaxLUN, AdapterID, SelTimeOut,
    TagMaxNum, ACBFlag and GlitchEater. Don't change ACBFlag unless you
    want to see what happens, if the driver hangs.

(2) Change device settings: You write a config line to the driver. The Nr
    must match the ID and LUN given. If you give "-" as parameter, it is
    ignored and the corresponding setting won't be changed. 
    You can use "y" or "n" instead of "Yes" and "No" if you want to.
    You don't need to specify a full line. The driver automatically performs
    an INQUIRY on the device if necessary to check if it is capable to operate
    with the given settings (Sync, TagQ).
     echo "0 0 0 y y y - y - 10" >/proc/scsi/tmscsim/0
     echo "3 5 0 y n y" >/proc/scsi/tmscsim/0

    To give a short explanation of the first example: 
    The first three numbers, "0 0 0" (Device index 0, SCSI ID 0, SCSI LUN 0),
    select the device to which the following parameters apply. Note that it
    would be sufficient to use the index or both SCSI ID and LUN, but I chose
    to require all three to have a syntax similar to the output.
    The following "y y y - y" enables Parity checking, enables Synchronous
    transfers, Disconnection, leaves Send Start (not used) untouched and
    enables Tagged Command Queueing for the selected device. The "-" skips
    the Negotiation Period setting but the "10" sets the max sync. speed to
    10 MHz. It's useless to specify both NegoPeriod and SyncSpeed as
    discussed above. The values used in this example will result in maximum

(3) Special commands: You can force a SCSI bus reset, an INQUIRY command and
    the removal of a device's DCB.
    This is only used for debugging when you meet problems. The parameter of
    the INQUIRY and remove command is the device index as shown by the
    output of /proc/scsi/tmscsim/? in the device listing in the first column
     echo "reset" >/proc/scsi/tmscsim/0
     echo "inquiry 1" >/proc/scsi/tmscsim/0
     echo "remove 2" >/proc/scsi/tmscsim/1

    Note that you will meet problems when you remove a device's DCB with the
    remove command if it contains partitions which are mounted. Only use it
    after unmounting its partitions, telling the SCSI mid-level code to
    remove it (scsi remove-single-device) and you really need a few bytes of

I'd suggest reviewing the output of /proc/scsi/tmscsim/? after changing
settings to see if everything changed as requested.

5. Configuration via boot/module parameters
With the DC390, the driver reads its EEPROM settings and IGNORES boot / 
module parameters. If you want to override the EEPROM settings of a DC390, 
you have to use the /proc/scsi/tmscsim/? interface described in the above

However, if you do have another AM53C974 based adapter you might want to
adjust some settings before you are able to write to the /proc/scsi/tmscsim/?
pseudo-file, e.g. if you want to use another adapter ID than 7. (Note that
the log message "DC390: No EEPROM found!" is normal without a DC390.)
For this purpose, you can pass options to the driver before it is initialised
by using kernel or module parameters. See lilo(8) or modprobe(1) manual
pages on how to pass params to the kernel or a module.

The syntax of the params is much shorter than the syntax of the /proc/...
interface. This makes it a little bit more difficult to use. However, long
parameter lines have the risk to be misinterpreted and the length of kernel
parameters is limited.

As the support for non-DC390 adapters works by simulating the values of the
DC390 EEPROM, the settings are given in a DC390 BIOS' way.

Here's the syntax:

Each of the parameters is a number, containing the described information:

* AdaptID: The SCSI ID of the host adapter. Must be in the range 0..7
  Default is 7.

* SpdIdx: The index of the maximum speed as in the DC390 BIOS. The values
  0..7 mean 10, 8.0, 6.7, 5.7, 5.0, 4.0, 3.1 and 2 MHz resp. Default is
  1 (8.0 MHz).

* DevMode is a bit mapped value describing the per-device features. It
  applies to all devices. (Sync, Disc and TagQ will only apply, if the
  device supports it.) The meaning of the bits (* = default):

   Bit Val(hex) Val(dec)  Meaning
   *0	 0x01	    1	  Parity check
   *1	 0x02	    2	  Synchronous Negotiation
   *2	 0x04	    4	  Disconnection
   *3	 0x08	    8	  Send Start command on startup. (Not used)
   *4	 0x10	   16	  Tagged Queueing

  As usual, the desired value is obtained by adding the wanted values. If
  you want to enable all values, e.g., you would use 31(0x1f). Default is 31.

* AdaptMode is a bit mapped value describing the enabled adapter features.

   Bit Val(hex) Val(dec)  Meaning
   *0	 0x01	    1	  Support more than two drives. (Not used)
   *1	 0x02	    2	  Use DOS compatible mapping for HDs greater than 1GB.
   *2	 0x04	    4	  Reset SCSI Bus on startup.
   *3	 0x08	    8	  Active Negation: Improves SCSI Bus noise immunity.
    4	 0x10	   16	  Immediate return on BIOS seek command. (Not used)
 (*)5	 0x20	   32	  Check for LUNs >= 1.
  The default for LUN Check depends on CONFIG_SCSI_MULTI_LUN.

* TaggedCmnds is a number indicating the maximum number of Tagged Commands.
  It is the binary logarithm - 1 of the actual number. Max is 4 (32).
   Value  Number of Tagged Commands
     0		 2
     1		 4
     2		 8
    *3		16
     4		32

 modprobe tmscsim tmscsim=6,2,31
would set the adapter ID to 6, max. speed to 6.7 MHz, enable all device
features and leave the adapter features and the number of Tagged Commands 
to the defaults.

As you can see, you don't need to specify all of the five params.

The defaults (7,1,31,15,3) are aggressive to allow good performance. You can
use tmscsim=7,0,31,63,4 for maximum performance, if your SCSI chain is
perfect. If you meet problems, you can use tmscsim=-1 which is a shortcut
for tmscsim=7,4,9,15,2. 

6. Potential improvements
Most of the intended work on the driver has been done. Here are a few ideas
to further improve its usability:

* More intelligent abort() routine
* Implement new_eh code (Linux-2.1+)
* Have the mid-level code (and not the driver) handle more of the various
* Rework command queueing in the driver
* More user friendly boot/module param syntax

Further investigation on these problems:

* Driver hangs with sync readcdda (xcdroast) (most probably VIA PCI error)

Known problems:

* There was a report that with a certain Scanner, the last SCSI command
  won't be finished correctly. This might be a command queueing bug or a bug
  in SCSI implementation of the scanner. Issueing another command to the
  scanner seems to help. (Try echo "INQUIRY x" >/proc/scsi/tmscsim/?, where
  x is the index (not the SCSI ID!) of the scanner. See 4.(3).)
* If there is a valid partition table, the driver will use it for determing
  the mapping. Other operating systems may not like this mapping, though
  it's consistent with the BIOS' behaviour. Old DC390 drivers ignored the
  partition table and used a H/S = 64/32 or 255/63 translation. So if you
  want to be compatible to those, use this old mapping when creating
  partition tables.
* In some situations, the driver will get stuck in an abort loop. Please
  disable DsCn, if you meet this problem. Please contact me for further
* 2.1.115+: Linux misses locks in sr_ioctl.c and scsi_ioctl.c
  There used to be a patch included here, which partially solved the
  problem. I suggest you contact Chiaki Ishikawa <ishikawa@yk.rim.or.jp>, 
  Richard Waltham <dormouse@farsrobt.demon.co.uk> or Doug Ledford
  <dledford@dialnet.net>, if you want to help further debugging it.
* 2.0.35: CD changers (e.g. NAKAMICHI MBR-7.{0,2}) have problems because
  the mid-level code doesn't handle BLIST_SINGLELUN correctly. There used
  to be a patch included here to fix this, but I was told that it is fixed
  in 2.0.36.

7. Bug reports, debugging and updates
Whenever you have problems with the driver, you are invited to ask the
author for help. However, I'd suggest reading the docs and trying to solve
the problem yourself, first. 
If you find something, which you believe to be a bug, please report it to me. 
Please append the output of /proc/scsi/scsi, /proc/scsi/tmscsim/? and
maybe the DC390 log messages to the report. 

Bug reports should be send to me (Kurt Garloff <dc390@garloff.de>) as well
as to the linux-scsi list (<linux-scsi@vger.rutgers.edu>), as sometimes bugs
are caused by the SCSI mid-level code.

I will ask you for some more details and probably I will also ask you to
enable some of the DEBUG options in the driver (tmscsim.c:DC390_DEBUGXXX
defines). The driver will produce some data for the syslog facility then.
Beware: If your syslog gets written to a SCSI disk connected to your
AM53C974, the logging might produce log output again, and you might end
having your box spending most of its time doing the logging.

The latest version of the driver can be found at:
(The latter might shut down some day.)

8. Acknowledgements
Thanks to Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, David Miller, Rik v. Riel, the FSF
people, the XFree86 team and all the others for the wonderful OS and
Thanks to C.L. Huang and Philip Giang (Tekram) for the initial driver
release and support.
Thanks to Doug Ledford, Gerard Roudier for support with SCSI coding.
Thanks to a lot of people (espec. Chiaki Ishikawa, Andreas Haumer, Hubert 
Tonneau) for intensively testing the driver (and even risking data loss
doing this during early revisions). 

Written by Kurt Garloff <kurt@garloff.de> 1998/06/11
Last updated 1998/12/25, driver revision 2.0d
$Id: README.tmscsim,v 2.9 1998/12/25 18:04:20 garloff Exp $

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